Fantastical infrared photography

While these stunning images may look like still shots from a J.R.R. Tolkien adaptation, they’re actually the handiwork of “amateur” French photographer David Keochkerian. David’s style of infrared photography is achieved by using a special camera or lens filter to block out all light but the infrared waves. The result is an other-worldly effect where the color is strange and piercing and the quality is celestial and dreamlike.

By taking advantage of nature’s inherent beauty — from trees in bloom to a pond’s reflective properties — vivid tones and striking contrasts come together to produce the sort of magical surrealism that movies are made of. But as any behind-the-scenes creative talent knows, these shots required way more than the wave of a wand to materialize.

Starting off with a D70 IR and an external IR filter and ultimately moving to a 590 nm internal filter for the D700, the photographer was able to capture the images displayed below and perfect them in post-production.

A few tips for those inclined to give IR photography a spin:

  • lush green foliage and the sunny skies of spring and summer are ideal conditions for infrared photography;
  • a tripod and remote are recommended due to extended exposure times;
  • shoot RAW images and adjust the white balance to your preference in post-production.

Take a peek at David Keochkerian’s compositions for inspiration, and check out his complete portfolio for more treatments and styles.

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Have you ever tried infrared photography? What other elements of nature would work well for IR? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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  • Jeremy Hawes

    Beautiful photography – really love when the red in the leaves are brought out

  • Paul

    Wow. Beautiful. Enjoyed reading. Thanks.

  • http://www.filmchronicles.com/ Tony Scudder

    So can these effects be achieved in CS6? Would be great to find out as I don’t have the finances to buy the gear David uses.